From adults checking emails on their smartphones to children watching television on their tablets, digital devices are engrained in our everyday life. According to Ofcom, a child between 5-7 spends an average of 4.5 hours behind a screen every day. Despite the many benefits of these inventions they often impact the amount of time children spend outdoors.
Additionally, excessive amounts of screen time can lead to a number of eye problems in children such as near-sightedness and eye fatigue, which can lead to eye discomfort, dimness of vision and headaches.
Getting outdoors and ditching the screen
This post from Muddy Puddles explores some of the ways you can encourage your child to ditch the screen and spend more time outdoors. From exciting games to enchanting walks, here are some of the activities you can do together as a family.
Have a picnic and play at the park
What could be more fun than a trip to the park? Come rain or shine, this is a great way to entice your children outside of the home. It would be great to choose a local park with lots of fun and exciting offerings that will allow them to move around and use their body. If the local park within your area does not have a variety of playground equipment just yet, consider requesting or arranging for them. A commercial-grade metal swing set is a good start. It can accommodate more weight for longer, and everyone loves swings!
On warmer days you can even pack a delicious picnic to enjoy between rounds on the monkey bars. You won’t need any expensive picnic baskets, just a simple bag will suffice. You might want to bring a blanket to lay on the floor and avoid those pesky grass stains.
Here are some picnic ideas you might want to try: https://picniclifestyle.com/50-picnic-ideas-for-kids/
Outdoors enjoying the rain and jumping in muddy puddles
If the weather isn’t pleasant enough for a picnic in the park, there are lots of other outdoor activities you can do as a family. To make the most of a drizzly day, you can stick to the basics and jump in muddy puddles. It’s an activity that always goes down well with children (adults secretly love it too). All they need is a decent pair of kid’s wellies to keep their toes toasty and dry – it’s that simple. We can’t change the Great British weather so why not embrace it instead?
Fly your own hand-made kites
Flying a kite might bring back some nostalgic memories for a lot of parents. So, take the time to share these memories with your children – it is a classic activity for the whole family to enjoy. As long as the breeze is calling, you can fly a kite all year round. To make a day of it, your family can create their own kites out of everyday materials ranging from old newspapers and magazines to discarded paper plates. Why not go all out and decorate with paints and glitter? Find more inspiration here:
Learn gardening tips and tricks as a family
Your family doesn’t have to go far to enjoy the outdoors. You can learn something new in your very own home. Gardening is beneficial for children of all ages in many ways. As well as keeping your little ones busy, gardening is a great way to stay active and burn off excess energy. If you don’t have a garden you can tend to potted plants and herbs to bring a bit of the outdoors into your home.
You can find some more green-fingered inspiration here.
The opportunities for ditching the screen are endless, as are the benefits. Whatever the weather, the whole family can benefit from exploring the great outdoors. That’s not to say screentime is completely bad for children. Some onscreen activities can have educational benefits, as well as being entertaining. After all, everything is best enjoyed in moderation.